What a letter …

Recently I received this letter from a reader and thought I’d edit it a bit and post it … and it grieves me and it makes me think we’ve got a long way to go, and sometimes I’m just shocked by stuff like this… and I hope you are too … and before you write something angry, take a deep breath… but why do people like this get to make the decision?

Dear Dr. McKnight,

I just finished reading Junia Is Not Alone and am nearly on the verge of tears.

I was raised in a family that taught equality of women, even in ministry. I can think of no issue that grieves me more than this, even though I had never realized that women being silenced in Churches was anything more than some far right-wing notion until about two and half years ago.

I was at a local mega-church that runs many justice initiatives in our community, and during one sermon the pastor expounded the church’s theology of women in ministry and how they were against it. I immediately felt sick to my stomach.

As I discussed this with a few of my friends, I found this to be a much more widespread belief than I had ever imagined. One friend candidly told me that the reason he thought women shouldn’t preach is that, when he sees them on stage, he can’t help but picture them naked. “What a horrible reason to silence women,” I thought, “because of some fault of yours.”

I talked to my Dad about it, and he recommended The Blue Parakeet to me…

So…thank you!

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Sean

    Sounds like a horrible reason to me. You have a right to be shocked and offended. At the same time, I would hope that you aren’t trying to use this as an example of “how complementarians think”. That would be harmful and caustic. Polarizing the debate with extreme examples helps no one and constitutes a sort of dishonest approach. Each viewpoint is represented by people who are careful, credible thinkers, as well as by others who are ignorant and who say incredibly shocking and harmful things. Good debate happens when we engage arguments at their highest levels, not when we go example-mining at the bottom of the barrel.

  • Emily

    The well-known megachurch that I used to attend held a similar view of women. Among the common reasons I heard from the church leaders about why they thought women shouldn’t be leaders: 1) if women lead, then the men won’t step up and take responsibility; and 2) if they affirmed women to have full equality and ministry authority, they would be “divisive.”

    These excuses never made sense to me because: 1) women using their God-given gifts shouldn’t hinder men from using theirs — shared responsibility is what we are called to take on; and 2) by preventing women from sharing their God-given gifts with the church they are already being “divisive.”

    Frankly, I think people like this are continuing to make these decisions because they are clinging to patriarchal cultural values that are not Kingdom values. Often they make these decisions without seeking empathy to understand how this position hurts others (and themselves).

  • Anna

    I grew up in a denomination that does not ordain women. I was told they don’t do that because the person is in the person of Christ at the altar, and Jesus was male, so you have to have a man at the altar. I was also told Jesus chose only males as his disciples, so that means God didn’t want women to be priests.

    Nobody, however, told me that because Jesus was Jewish and the disciples were Jewish, that that meant we couldn’t ordain Christians. ;-)

    I found both the Junia book and the Blue Parakeet to be not only good reads, but healing ones. Oh, and I’m in seminary now: obviously with a different denomination than the one I grew up with.

  • http://www.joroyal.com Jo Royal

    Scott – thank you for posting this letter – despite it being a very discouraging post in some ways. However, discouraging as it might be – it also challenges and inspires me to continue in my journey as I work at opening the door wider on women in ministry. Bless you for posting – it was right to do so.

    If you are interested – I am currently writing about my ‘coming out’ as an Egalitarian over on joroyal.com. Would love for you to read it.

    Many thanks

    Jo

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Sean, I hear complementarians saying that they are careful credible thinkers, but I beg to differ. The conclusion they reach does not make sense. Same issue I have with Calvinism. They claim to use careful logic, but the result makes no sense. Those conclusions are not credible. There may be a basis, but all conclusions have some basis. That does not make them credible.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    The reason I left the RCC was because I cannot understand how god’s people can discriminate against women so egregiously. It is a shame.

  • Jim L.

    For twenty-five plus years I have been studying this issue from all the angles I can. I have only been strengthen in my growing conviction that women are gifted to serve and our Lord desires their service in His Church. I am now very happy that on Jan. 15th 2012 the evangelical church I attend will ordain its first woman teaching pastor.

  • Pat Pope

    Having dealt with this issue firsthand as a women in ministry myself, I can tell you that one thing that’s refreshing about your Junia book, Scot, is that it forces people to have to consider other “biblical” arguments against women in ministry. For too long, the people I have encountered have used I Timothy to rail against women in ministry in total disregard of the other women in scripture. They don’t question or even seek to wrestle with those women and how they were used. It’s unfortunate that we often approach scripture just looking for that which supports what we already believe to the neglect of any other part of scripture. Sadly, in many churches, those who don’t know their Bible well just abdicate to those who do or seem to “appear” as though they know what they’re talking about. Pathethic….

    I emphasize “biblical” reasoning on this issues because the whole thing about picturing someone naked is an issue for that person to deal with; not the fault of the women nor reason to keep them from preaching and teaching, particularly if you’re not claiming to be part of an orthodox monastic community. And if the hearer is having that much difficulty, maybe they ought to consider joining one.

  • http://profanefaith.com profanefaith

    2 you say “if women lead, then the men won’t step up and take responsibility” – as a pastor I get this often, not only as the reason for women to not be pastors, but also as the reason for women to not do anything public in the church (particularly worship).

  • http://ryangear.com Ryan Gear

    My grandmother preached in a time that was even less friendly to women, and I just heard a great sermon given by a 20-something woman a couple of weeks ago. It’s difficult to silence someone when you can clearly see how God is using her gifts. One more thing… Deborah, Anna, Priscilla, Lydia, Philip’s daughters- all leaders and some prophetesses.

  • pamela fitkin

    hi all.
    I am a ordained baptist minister in canada, raised that women were nothing more than baby making machines who are to listen to thier husbands and laugh at their male pastor’s jokes ,eeks i have come along way since then… My take is scriptural i see Jesus telling Mary “go and tell the disciples including Peter (who is head of the church) that I am alive” John 20, Mark 16 Also the gospel is given to to women first: Mary mother of Jesus, Elizabeth her cousin, etc… “jesus rubukes the men for not believing the message sent by the women” seems to me there are still many men not believing the message of women today, what a shame! At the end of the day I have the light of Jesus shining in me, on me and around me and i will not let any person male or female tell me I cannot teach, proclaim and or announce what this light is… thanks scott for the post and i would really like to get my hands on those books mentioned!

  • Stan Friedman

    I, too have heard, the men won’t step argument. Not true. As for the lust argument, yes, there have been times when I was “distracted” by an attractive female pastor, or choir member, or worship team member, or the woman in the row in front of me ….. Perhaps I should stay at home and just listen to the radio. It’s a good thing that women don’t have a problem with being distracted.

  • http://awaitingawhiterobe.wordpress.com Mike B

    Just swung by after Scot’s tweet for this post. That read “This letter is too typical”. Guess the question for me is what in this letter is considered typical?

    I agree with Scot that distraction over seeing the woman naked would be a sad reason to be complementarian. And have to agree even more with Sean in comment #1 and Pat Pope in #8 that this would not even be close to a reason anyone would give for holding this position.

    Mike B

  • Jessica

    Among the many bad reasons to deny women access to ministry positions, arguments based on inappropriate or sinful dispositions in other individuals are some of the most disturbing. In my few years as a new Christian at a complementarian church and then Bible college, I regularly encountered the idea that allowing women to teach would be ineffective and unwise because male listeners would find it difficult to regard them as authorities. As I began to consider pursuing academic theology vocationally, one of the more supportive complementarian professors even advised me to write exclusively under a male pseudonym so I would be “taken seriously.” This type of attitude is perpetuated by the very practices – gender discrimination in ministry and the use of demeaning theological formulations to support it – in defense of which it is employed.

    Now, as a convinced egalitarian and a doctoral student in theology, I greatly appreciate the manner in which works like your “Junia Is Not Alone” call the church to examine its arguments as well as its practices.

  • Doug

    Having attended churches with both leanings, I have a great deal of sympathy for both. The complementarian position rejects the accusation of “discrimination” (at least in any pejorative sense — you don’t “discriminate” against chairs by not using them as tables). At the same time, the complementarian churches I’ve attended typically have populations of spiritually healthy, joyful women. Folks who regard a position of power, authority, or voice as the truest expressions of the gospel are missing something. At the same time, when insecure, small-minded church leadership attacks or downplays feminine identity, that is similarly in direct contradiction to the gospel.

  • E.G.

    Emily: “…if women lead, then the men won’t step up and take responsibility…”

    This is precisely one of the arguments used at my church. And, insanely, it even extends to not allowing women to be ushers.

    Among the effects on our local expresdion of the Body:

    -women have responded by hiving off certain ministries into which they won’t allow men.
    -men have responded by seeing those ministries as ‘women’s work’ and avoiding any involvement at all. Strangely, this includes ‘caring’ work that would normally be the pervue of deacons.
    -as a result we have a terrible time finding adequate workers for various ministries on both sides of this gender divide.

    It’s extremely damaging.

  • Tim Marsh

    I find it ironic that Southern Baptists continue to promote their Christmas Missions Offering in honor/memory of Lottie Moon, who was an outspoken preacher, teacher and missionary. No, she was never ordained formally by a church. Nevertheless, her ministry in China was ordained by God.

    Southern Baptists are probably the most outspoken denomination against women serving as pastors, or any ordained capacity. Yet, they continue to hold Lottie Moon to almost a “saint-like” status. I wonder when SBC leaders will try to remove Lottie Moon’s name from the Christmas offering???

    So thankful that many women and men are becoming aware of God’s calling, regardless of gender.

  • Sue

    The problem with complementarianism is that it springs from very different (and I would say problematic) way of using the scriptures, which creates trouble on a number of issues + not just this one. As a woman called to ministry, now at home and ordained in a church that doesn’t operate in that way, my “method” of countering all that is to preach, teach, lead, care and serve in such a way that ultimately those other teachings are just proved ridiculous. Thanks to Scot and other godly men who argue this with passion and integrity – those churches can’t “hear” me because they assume I am out of God’s will, prima facie.

  • Emily

    E.G.,

    Yes, it’s very damaging indeed. I also saw this argument lead to gender segregation in other roles around the church (not just pastoral or elder leadership). One young father who is gifted with children was turned away from volunteering with the children’s ministry because because he was male. By not allowing any men to work with children, they believed they were protecting children from sexual predators.

    It was heart-breaking to see these kinds of rules prevent men and women from using their God-given gifts.

  • Susan N.

    ‘The Blue Parakeet’ profoundly affected not only my understanding of what God’s (written) Word has to say about and to women, but also the way I approach reading the Bible in every sense. I’m deeply grateful for that book.

    I am in a mainline church now, in which the issue of gender in leadership is not such a hot topic of debate. The issue of leadership is based more on authoritative teaching vs. authoritarian control of the institution. *All* people are valued as uniquely created, beloved children of God. It has been one less obstacle for me to clear in coming closer to God and living as a faithful follower of Christ, being in this type of environment.

    On a smaller relational scale than that of church life, my marriage has been an ongoing experience of learning to live fruitfully with another human being of the opposite gender. In practical terms, my husband has a greater share of the power. He is the sole breadwinner, he is physically stronger than I, and he was privileged to obtain a higher level of education than I. Nonetheless, he chose to marry me (so there must have been something in my inferior make-up that he found worthy), and we are in this life together, as a team.

    When my husband is behaving arrogantly and misusing his power, I have formulated a response in the form of a story (fairy tale style) that usually only requires me to utter the opening sentence to effectively communicate my point: “Once upon a time, there was a lonely king…” ‘Nuff said!

    Not to imply that, similar to some “new Roman woman”, I am the be-all, end-all of wisdom and relational finesse, or that I revel in my own “feminine power and freedom.” My husband calls me out just as often for my own weaknesses to which I have formerly been blind. I need that, too.

    Simple point being, we need each other, and we each need to bring everything we’ve got to the table. If this is true in marriage or friendship, why should it be any different in the Church?

    I appreciate your scholarship being brought to bear on this issue, Scot. I am generally inclined to keep silent on debates of complementarian / egalitarian matters; mightn’t it be argued that I have a confirmation bias, being that I am a woman and all? I think we need men to speak out, because men in leadership who already have a confirmation bias toward complementarian views of the biblical witness will, obviously, not be listening to a woman who cries foul.

    ~Peace~

  • http://www.justvisitinghere.blogspot.com Kathi

    To Mike B. #13 – This letter is “too typical” because it happens in a lot of churches. I don’t mean this in a condescending way, but I wonder if most men really understand how prevalent this way of thinking about women is in our churches today.

    In the 90′s I was a ministry major who could not go into churches to fulfill my preaching requirements because they would not allow a woman to preach from the pulpit.

    Today, while I hope that things have changed for women, my husband and I have sat in on sermons where it was stated that women are nothing more than helpers to men. This shocked me as I looked around the room full of young women and thought, are they all ok with this? They must be because they keep going back. We, however, have not.

  • E.G.

    Emily #19: “One young father who is gifted with children was turned away from volunteering with the children’s ministry because because he was male. By not allowing any men to work with children, they believed they were protecting children from sexual predators.”

    Good grief! Do we go to the same church? This sounds way too familiar.

    Another argument that I’ve heard is that men and women working together in the nursery could lead to extramarital affairs.

    Really? I’d submit that changing poopy diapers is about the best form of birth control out there..l

  • http://www.ccada.org Kate Johnson

    My husband and I lead a ministry that among other things, helps churches understand abuse across the lifespan and teaching them how to be safe places to minister effectively and compassionately. This requires teaching and speaking. That is one of my gifts, but not my husband’s. He is very content to suppurt my speaking and teaching, making sure I have what I need, setting up equipment, and protecting me to get my breaks when everyone wants to talk. On many occassions, I have been asked why my husband doesn’t do some of the teaching (which by the way he does on occassion). I answer it is not his gift. Their response? “It would give you more credibility and maybe more pastors would attend.” Never mind my background, education, experience and training… I am not male. being male has more credibility? Really?

  • passamike

    If what someone says in front of a congregation is prefaced with a life that mirrors the content of their message, is gender relevant? If one of the defintions of leadership is to take responsibility, again, is gender relevant? We have had women preach in our VIneyard church in the past, and it was the content of the message not gender that mattered. On s side note: I sure hope women don’t picture me naked when i preach…:)

  • http://awaitingawhiterobe.wordpress.com Mike B

    Kathi

    I am sure that the complementarian view is prevalent. Discussions from Biblical texts and research should be had regarding whether the view is valid.

    However, my comment was a reaction against the reasons given in this letter regarding thinking about a woman being naked while they taught as being “typical”. That is a misrepresentation of anyone holding the view.

    Mike B

  • Barb

    These discussions always make me think of two things:
    1. my personal experience of reading through the entire Bible with the “hidden” agenda of looking for what God thought of women–AND finding that God thinks very highly of women as always has. When I read the Blue Parakeet–the idea that the Bible story has a tragectory towards MORE freedom made trememdous sense to me. Why would we now make this trend go in reverse?
    2. finding that the complementarian position, IMHO, is impossible to pin down. When are boys too old for women to teach them–and many many more questions like that.
    I never hear people argue for the strict patriarchal position–why not?

  • http://jesus.scilla.org.uk/ Chris Jefferies

    Mike B replying to Kathi wrote: ‘I am sure that the complementarian view is prevalent. Discussions from Biblical texts and research should be had regarding whether the view is valid.’

    It’s well worth reading John Zens on this topic. You can read his response to John Piper here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/24297111/Women-Jon-Zens-Review though he’s since published a book ‘What’s with Paul and Women’ – an Amazon search will find it.

    Rejecting the role of women in *any* aspect of church life is not just unkind and damaging to women themselves, it’s also damaging to the church through the loss of so much precious wisdom, enthusiasm and insight.

    Chris J

  • http://www.thinktheology.org Luke Geraty

    As a “soft” complementarian, let me equally comment on how stupid a comment it is to suggest that a woman can’t preach because it might cause a man to picture her naked.

    Wow.

    Someone once told me that there shouldn’t be “upbeat” music in a worship gathering because people might move or dance in a way that makes others lust.

    Wow.

    Some of the reasoning behind people’s praxis is ridiculous!

  • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com Melody H Hanson (@melodyhhanson)

    Grateful that things are changing but I can tell you that it’s slow! You have to have a long view of “change.” I attend a EFCA megachurch that is afraid to change. (EFCA allows local churches to decide for themselves, but doesn’t ordain women as a denomination.)

    I wish someone would help churches that want to change to know how to actually do it. For ten years I have been told in many different ways that either “it’s coming” or it’s “too divisive” and fear at the controversy (which I understand).

    I’ve given up saying anything (out loud) and started praying. Seriously, does anyone know who out there is skilled in helping evangelical churches change their position on women, when they want to but are afraid?

  • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com Melody H Hanson (@melodyhhanson)

    P.S. Just bought Blue Parakeet today.

  • http://almostjean.com AlmostJean

    My neighbor isn’t a Christian. She’s been coming to our church with her family. She and I have become friends over the past few months. She’s a smart and successful business woman. When she found out I was nominated for elder, she was excited. “Just because you’re a woman,” she said, “I couldn’t go to a church, if woman weren’t supported.”
    How am I supposed to reach a generation of successful, and highly educated women for Jesus, when (for them) there’s a stumbling block on the way to the cross?

  • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com Diana Trautwein

    This discussion and the ongoing one at your other post on this topic feel hard and sad to me – interlaced with brief moments of hope. I’m basically with Sue at #18. I, too, was a called, gifted and ordained pastor for 17 years, attending seminary at midlife and retiring from pastoral ministry last year. And I am done arguing about it. Just plain worn out with that. DO IT. Live what you believe, model effective egalitarian leadership, preach if you have that gift, teach if you have that one. Do it with love and grace and conviction. The more it is seen as normative, the more normative it will become. Does that make sense? Thank you, Scot, for your wonderful exegetical work and your outspoken support of women in ministry. Thank you to so many who commented in agreement with Scot. And for Melody at #29, the ECC (Evangelical Covenant Church) was a sister denomination to the EFCA many years ago – they divided over infant baptism and stay that way because of the women in ministry issue. Reading through some of our materials on this topic might be helpful to you. http://www.covchurch.org – look under resources.)

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    I’m not sure if this is a push-back, or not, but some have commented that the argument that a complementarian would oppose women in leadership because “they might think of them naked” is a misrepresentation of their view. I think the comments worried about that misrepresentation misunderstand something, that maybe I can clarify (?).

    I don’t think anyone is trying to suggest that anyone (complementarian or otherwise) would use the idea of seeing a woman sexually as their only reason for opposing the woman in leadership, and probably far from their primary one.

    But please don’t try to tell me that complementarians haven’t used that reason to oppose women in leadership. I’ve seen it happen quite often. They don’t usually use the phrase “I’d think of her naked,” but the argument that some women are “attractive” and thus a “distraction” is by no means uncommon. And it is a fallacy that it should even be part of the discussion. Practically no one worries about whether a male pastor might “distract” female church members. Yet this point of physical appearance keeps coming up.

    It may not be a primary reason, but it’s certainly out there in the mix of reasons people give for opposing women, and it needs to stop!

  • E.G.

    @Diana #32: “DO IT. Live what you believe, model effective egalitarian leadership, preach if you have that gift, teach if you have that one. Do it with love and grace and conviction. The more it is seen as normative, the more normative it will become. Does that make sense?”

    AMEN!!! Preach it. That’s right. Yes.

  • http://www.justvisitinghere.blogspot.com Kathi

    Mike B.: Sorry, I misunderstood your initial line. I, too, don’t understand why that particular part of the letter would be “typical.” But then, I’ve never been “turned on” by a male preacher.

  • http://www.seekingfaithfulnessblog.blogspot.com Holly

    I’m sorry. This reason? Yes, I’ve heard it. But I laugh when I try to picture any man I’ve ever heard from the pulpit in his birthday suit. Other than my husband? Um….ew. :) No thanks. Maybe we need better lookin’ man pastors.

    Just a light-hearted suggestion….don’t shoot me.

    Seriously, I was talking with my husband last night, trying to describe what it has been like to be the female half of our partnership these last 23 years. He’s been a pastor for most of those years. I told him this:

    “You walk into a room (of Christian men who don’t know you) and introduce yourself, tell them you’re a pastor and immediately, you are afforded respect. I walk into a room and introduce myself to the same group, and most of them can’t meet my eyes and very few of them think I’m worthy to carry on a conversation with them. When they learn I’m a mother of many children, they immediately slide me on down the category scale: dumber than a stick, only good for having kids.”

    We went to the same school, earned the same degree, read the same books, discuss the same things. Often, he relies on me to teach him what I have learned. I’ve been by his side throughout the services, the meetings, the counseling sessions – all of it over the years.

    He is such a good man, just sat and listened to me with kind and understanding eyes – a true blessing and a gift. I’d follow him to the ends of the earth, and have.

    Ironically? I’m much more interested in theology and pastoral care and church structure and statistics – all of it – than he is.

    Being a female in the church has been….humbling. That’s not all bad, but it’s often not pleasant. The writer of the letter above? It’s not overkill. He’s just being brutally honest.

  • Jerry

    I read “Junia Is Not Alone”. I absolutely loved it. For a long time, in regard to women not being able serve, something in my head has kept saying “this doesn’t add up.” There are some verses that i haven’t been able to make fit into the scheme of things. My gut tells me one thing, but when i read 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and Pauls statement there – i’m confounded – something’s amiss. Can anyone point me in the right direction – to some real light on the subject?

  • Nadine

    For Jerry:

    Here are a few good books:

    1. Abusing Scripture by Manfred Brauch
    2. The Blue Parakeets by Scot McKnight
    3. Women in the Church by Stanley Grenz
    4. God’s Women Then and Now by Deborah Gil and Barbara Cavaness

    There a multitude of others.

  • pepy

    Holly, thanks for your comments. As for your very last sentence? I somehow presumed the author of the letter was a SHE being brutally honest. Interesting how we presume some things. There is no information either way, but the letter is brutally honest and true either way.

    As for me, I think the naked argument is just so lame. And those using it aren’t mature at all. I suppose women could have those same ideations…hmmmm.

    And as another bit of context, my spouse also has a good idea how women are treated by our whole experiment of how people treated me when walking into a car dealership. He was blown away by how the salesmen (yes, all men but one that we had to ask for at one dealership) would not even address me or my questions–even once my husband told them to talk to ME. They still only talked to him. He probably dismissed me when I told him they wouldn’t even talk to me until that day. Now, he knows it happens all the time and even in the church.

  • Brandon

    Have any definitive studies been conducted looking at the correlation between church size/growth and the complementarian versus egalitarian issue? I can think of a lot of churches that have exploded in the last decade and most are complementarian. However, I doubt that is true in all cases.

  • TJJ

    I am sorry this private letter was posted. It throws the discussion into an entirely inappropriate direction that in no serious way advances serious discussion of the issue.

    Men imagining a woman particiapting in a worship service as being naked raises much different, albeit serious
    issues.

    Let’s stick to the biblical teaching, the historical practice and tradition of the church, the contextualization of those into current western culture, and the issues of theology raised thereby, and leave lust issues/problems for another post.

  • EricW

    @TJJ 41.:

    But the lustful dangers of women in the church IS “the historical practice and tradition of the church,” going all the way back to Tertullian. It has always been used as an excuse to second-class females in the Body of Christ and shut them up and sit them down.

  • http://restoringsoul.blogspot.com Ann F-R

    Holly #36, I agree that this is a perennial problem, perpetually renewed with every generation born, present in every aspect & occupation of life. (That’s how I read the “truth” in Genesis 3:15-18.) One distinction I’d make is this: we could substitute any religion and any occupation into your 1st sentence below, and the women would experience the same result. I also didn’t know to which letter writer you referred in your last paragraph – which seemed to confuse pepy #39, too. :) Pepy, I’ve had that same experience in car dealerships and repair shops.

    “You walk into a room (of Christian men who don’t know you) and introduce yourself, tell them you’re a pastor and immediately, you are afforded respect. I walk into a room and introduce myself to the same group, and most of them can’t meet my eyes and very few of them think I’m worthy to carry on a conversation with them. When they learn I’m a mother of many children, they immediately slide me on down the category scale: dumber than a stick, only good for having kids.”

    To TJJ, #41, what bothers you about the letter? The honest frustration & blunt assessment expressed in it, or that Scot posted it with editing? ISTM, most folk who appeal to the long tradition in the church to maintain gender hierarchies is likely to make that same gender evaluation in the home, the office, and in formal and casual interactions with other men & women — implicitly in thoughts, explicitly in actions. Only the verbally dismissive treatment of women has become un-PC, because gender discrimination is alive and kicking. FWIW, I disagree, too, with any retaliatory dismissive treatment or exclusion of men by women.

  • RJS

    Holly (#36) and pepy (#39),

    Being overlooked and/or underestimated is a rather common experience.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Funny, I thought the writer was a woman, but in retrospect, it is far more likely the writer is a man because of this sentence “One friend candidly told me that the reason he thought women shouldn’t preach is that, when he sees them on stage, he can’t help but picture them naked”

    Hmm, does it say something about me that I assumed it was a woman? I think it does…and I don’t like it.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    I am a white male and my wife contends that I will return as a black woman in my reincarnation. She says I don’t realize the advantage I have.

  • http://thinklaughweepworship.blogspot.com Emily Hunter McGowin

    The “women are too physically distracting” argument is something I’ve heard many times in my years within evangelical churches and institutions (including three years in Bible college and four years in seminary). Of course, no one is stupid enough to put such an asinine argument in print, but it does come up. A lot. That is one of many reasons I wrote my satirical “Case Against Male Pastors”: http://thinklaughweepworship.blogspot.com/2011/05/case-against-male-pastors.html. (Sorry for the shameless plug, but I think it’s pretty darn funny.) And, that is one of many reasons I choose no longer to suffer foolish arguments against women in ministry.

    Scot, I’m grateful to God for men like you taking a strong stand for women in ministry. May your kind increase in number and boldness!

  • http://lisadelay.com/blog Lisa Colón DeLay

    There’s this awkward thing Jesus says about gauging out one’s eye…I don’t want to be the one to suggest it to this offender…but well, you know….If the eye patch fits….


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X